MATTHEW JEUNG | MARCH 2019 - Member Spotlight
Thank you Matt for pitching in so much to help the San Francisco Road Runners! We are better because of you. Last summer, Matt was our lead volunteer coordinator at the San Francisco Marathon "SFRRC water/electrolyte station" in Golden Gate Park. Thanks to Matt and team, we had ~28 volunteers and the SF Marathon gave our club $20 per volunteer.
Besides that, you'll find Matt at our Saturday club runs and track on Tuesday. He also was our captain for the Kaiser Half... putting together a gathering before the race and just making people feel at home.
Questions we asked Matt:
When did you first get interested in running? And what do you run now?
I started running in early 2008 at UC Davis when my friend was looking for people to do the The Big Sur Marathon with her. Her reason was for the amazing views. Eventually, a group of 8 of us signed up for the race and helped each other in training with advice, encouragement and growing excitement for the race. The race weekend in Monterey was so fun, chill, and energizing that I’ve been hooked on running since. Today, I still run to have fun and chill, meet new people through training and racing and explore new places locally and abroad. Over the past decade, I’ve also learned running makes me a better person by improving my focus and discipline, physical and mental strength and empathy toward the diverse group of runners in the world.
How did you hear about SFRRC and for how long have you been a member?
I heard about SFRRC from my high school friend (Go Lowell!), Jonathan Lui, who is one of the coaches in the club. I’ve been a member since the January 2018 kick-off run.
What are your running goals? Any upcoming races? And what's been the key to hitting your goals thus far?
In the next year or two, I hope to run a 100k or 100 mile race and improve on my PRs for the 5k, half marathon, marathon, 50k and 50 miler. “Back of my mind”/”pie in the sky” goals of mine are to qualify for Boston and possibly run a sub-3 hour marathon.
Running with good people, regular track sessions, and variety of interesting routes and workouts are the keys to my athletic progression. In 2018, joining SFRRC was crucial in my improvement. I've since had a 23 minute PR in the marathon and improved my 50 miler time by an hour and a half.
What are a few of your favorite things about the club?
My top 3 favorite things about SFRRC are its inclusive and welcoming nature, its diverse and wide-variety of members, and the many opportunities it provides such as meeting awesome guest speakers and ways to give back to the running community.
Favorite Race: It has to be The Big Sur Marathon for its unique race culture and community, awesome location and personal memories. This year will be my 7th time running it.
Favorite Training Runs: My favorite SFRRC runs are the Saturday long runs and Tuesday track workouts. Both always have familiar faces to catch up with as well as new runners to meet. A favorite non-SFFRC training run I do is a loop of Mt. Davidson, up O’Shaunessy to Twin Peaks and through Mt. Sutro forest reserve. Urban trails ftw!
Which pace group are you in: I typically run in the 8:00 pace group. However if I’m tired or running long, I’ll run with the 8:30 or 9:00 pace group. On rare occasions and to challenge myself, I’ve ran in the 7:30 pace group.
How many miles do you run per week: In 2018, I averaged 50 miles a week with a peak week of 90. In 2019, I hope to average more with a peak week reaching 100 miles.
Shoes: For everyday running, I wear the Hoka One One Clifton 3 (with over 1600 miles on them!). For road races, I wear the Kalenji Run Cushion ($18 from Decathlon). For trail races, I wear the Hoka One One Challenger ATR 3.
Food (when training for a marathon): I typically don’t eat during runs 20 miles or less. I’ve learned it trains my body to run more efficiently and reduces my chances of bonking during the race. For 18+ mile runs, I usually carry a Gu or Clif Bar just in case though and if weather is warm I’ll take a salt pill or two.
Favorite activity when you're not running with the club: I like to root for my bay area sports teams, camp and be in nature, volunteer, go karaoke, play music, travel and try new things. I have a lot of relatives including six uncles and four aunts and a few old friends in the bay area so when I can I love spending quality time and eating good food with them.
What keeps you motivated?
When times are good, I am motivated to hang out with my fellow runners, whether their new or old pals, explore new places and try new races and to reach my potential in running and life. When times are tough, I remind myself of the amazing feeling that I can rely on that running gives me and I know want to be a runner for the rest of my life.
What words of advice would you give to someone who is training for a race?
For anyone starting out running, I recommend picking a goal that would motivate you and make you feel awesome if accomplished. Then, I would train with people with similar goals to encourage, help and learn from each other. During training, I believe it’s key to do more easy miles at a very slow pace (2:00/mile slower than marathon pace). I know people are busy and don’t have time, but these miles will help you get stronger and prevent injury in the long haul. Plus you can really soak in your environment during these relaxed runs.